World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Last week, Center for Medicare Advocacy Chiplin Senior Fellow Ben Belton participated in a 2017 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) commemoration at the United Nations (UN) in New York. This year’s WEAAD theme, “Understand and End Financial Abuse of Older People: A Human Rights Issue” highlighted the need to protect older people from the devastating effects of financial exploitation.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly 1 in 10 older people are abused each year. Older people who experience abuse are more likely to suffer poor physical and mental health and have higher mortality rates. Elder financial mistreatment erodes an older person’s financial security and puts serious strain on critical public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. According to the National Association of Adult Protective Services (NAPSA), nearly 1 in 10 victims will turn to Medicaid “as a direct result of their own monies being stolen from them.”

The Center has a long history of advocating for beneficiaries who rely on the strength of these programs and is pleased to continue the fight for elder justice. At the 2017 Voices of Medicare Summit, Center staff led a panel discussion to raise awareness about dangerous anti-psychotics given to nursing home residents, a lesser-known elder justice issue that does serious harm to the health and financial well-being of millions of older people.

The Center looks forward to engaging partners from across the country and globe who advocate for the human rights of older people.